In a fresh twist to ongoing political drama in Maharashtra, sources said that NCP leader Ajit Pawar is unlikely to take oath as deputy chief minister on Thursday (Wednesday 28) along with Uddhav Thackeray, who is scheduled to take oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra at 6:40 pm on Thursday.
Sources added that it has been decided by NCP chief Sharad Pawar that Ajit Pawar will take oath as deputy chief minister only after the floor test of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government. It is to be noted that Uddhav will have to prove the majority in 288-member Assembly before December 3. Besides Uddhav, senior Shiv Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai will take oath as cabinet ministers on Thursday. From NCP, Chhagan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil are expected to take oath as ministers. Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan are also likely to take oath as cabinet minister on Thursday (November 28).
It is learned that a one-day special session of Maharashtra Assembly will be called on November 30 to elect the Speaker and the election of Speaker will prove the majority of Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the state.
NCP leader Praful Patel confirmed on Wednesday that the only Deputy Chief Minister in the new Maharashtra government will be from his party while the post of Assembly Speaker will go to the Congress.
After the NCP conceded the Maharashtra Speaker`s position to the Congress, former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is emerging as the front-runner for the post as he is the top choice of the party, sources said.
On Tuesday, Thackeray was unanimously elected as the leader of the tri-party alliance. MLAs of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena had met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and submitted a letter declaring Shiv Sena Chief Udhhav Thackeray as their leader late on Tuesday, following which Koshyari issued the directives saying that Uddhav will take oath on Thursday.
The political development came after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis submitted his resignation as Chief Minister to the Governor on Tuesday as "the BJP fell short of the required number of MLAs to win the scheduled floor test". Supreme Court had asked the Fadnavis government to prove its majority in the 288-member Assembly before 5 pm on Wednesday.